Christina Crockett – Poetry

para mi Mamá
I reach in my apron pocket for the bobby pins –
Long, long ago, new and coated – now, old and exposed,
peeling, curling shiny black plastic coated strips on
orange-brownish silvery thin metal slivers have
A strange smell of rust, a curious hint of chlorine,
Mixing inexorably, not cleansing but acrid
or is that just my fading memory impinging
Upon our raucous laughter and splashing in the pool
in my innocence, with my morisco friend in
a place forgotten by time, that had forgotten time.
The rusted pointed ends jab my closed wrinkled palm
a trickle of thin blood in a tightly clenched fist,
a stigmata, reminder of my past transgressions:
born again in accursed waters, eyes opened to
their ever watching eyes, cursing the heathen lot,
Moriscos that had dared disturb Quillota with
quixotic dreams of conquest, that had dared lure us
innocents with promises of strange eastern sweets
and delights that lulled our minds, devoured our souls.
My people had found me wet then examined me then
scrubbed me with lye soap – head to toe – then given me
several shots then burned my clothes. In their uproar
They had forgotten my brand new black bobby pins that
I quickly snatched and stuffed in the pocket of
my sanitized shift that I wore while I walked home
On the uneven cobbled dusty streets, singing to
the high heavens to drown out their babeling that did
not shame me, but made me hold my head even higher.
Through my fierce tears staring straight through them that watched me
through eyelidless eyes, rotted holes, undying maggots
feasted on my flesh, I first saw beyond time itself.
I put the bobby pins back in my apron pocket.